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I have been interested in XLRs for about five years. I have test driven three XLRs with my wife and she also likes the car. I have recently found a very nice 2008 XLR with 30,000 miles on it that I would like but I'm a little afraid to move forward with the purchase.
I've done some reading on the internet and on several forums and my impression is that Cadillac isn't supporting this car with replacement parts, the replacement parts that were made have been exhausted or are very scarce and if I can find them they may be over priced. There also seems to be problems with headlights, taillights and the VVT control failing. Without these parts the car cannot be driven.
Can the forum give me their opinions on the reliability the XLR.
The amount of maintenance the is required.
Parts availability.
Vehicle issues.
Vehicle pricing
Future XLR valuations

I feel that I am fairly mechanically inclined and could perform some maintenance and possibly some trouble shooting if required. I currently own a 1980 Fiat Spider that I have had for 35 years. I drive it an average of 3 to 4 thousand miles a year no problem, do 95% of the maintenance and trouble shooting and parts are very easy to get. It's been a fun car for my wife and I over the years but we're not getting any younger. The XLR is modern more comfortable and more powerful than the old Spider. Both cars offer styling that you don't see every day. I would like to drive the XLR but I'm a little concerned it my end up being a Garage Queen.

In a nut shell I need to decide if I should admire The XLR from a distance or go all in.
Any advice or comments would be appreciated.
 

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'02 ETC CE, '04 CTS-V, '04 XLR, '13 XTS Platinum
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How many electronic modules does your 1980 Fiat contain? The XLR has over 30, some of which can only be obtained on the used market, and they won't be cheap. While the XLR is likely light-years more modern and more complex than the Fiat, it is still twelve years old and not getting any younger either. If it's on the original shocks, you might consider replacing them for a like-new ride. A set of shocks will run $2000, and there's no run-flat tire support anymore, so you'll have to carry a can of sealant and a AAA card if you have a flat.

The XLR is a vehicle that requires extensive knowledge and specialized diagnostic tools to troubleshoot and repair. If you want to take care of the car yourself, you'll need to invest in a set of shop manuals and a Tech 2 at a minimum. Some modules require a Tech 2 to be programmed to the car.

The parts situation for this car has been elaborated to death online, so there's no point in wasting server storage and bandwidth here. If Fate intervenes, your car could be grounded indefinitely or totaled forever if slightly damaged.

Engine-wise, the XLR sports the last (and most reliable) revision of the NorthStar. One expensive repair to consider is a failure of the generator. The generator is water-cooled and was moved to the bottom of the engine, requiring the engine to be removed if you have to change it out. Brakes and suspension are corvette-based, so there are plenty of parts available. The infotainment system is very outdated and no map support exists if that matters to you.

In the end, the choice is up to you. You might end up with a great car that never has an issue. They turn heads wherever they go. Other than the Folding Top, mine was very reliable, and I was able to repair the top with my Tech 2. The parts situation coupled with needing to replace tires and shocks ($6k) was more than I was willing to drop into the car so I got rid of it and have never regretted the decision.

Price-wise, these aren't investments, but the XLR has held it's value better than any modern Cadillac that's twelve years old.
 

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2016 ATS-V, 2007 XLR, 1970 GTO, 1970 Torino GT
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I agree with everything that cclarke said....but.....I have a 2007 XLR. It has 18K miles on it. Has not given me a moments trouble. It is not the most technologically advanced car out there, but what it lacks in technological prowness it more than makes up in curb appeal. I never liked driving vehicles that everyone else has....do not like to see myself coming and going everywhere I go. This car gets looks and comments everywhere I go. It is fun to drive. It is true that this car is not an investment, like my 1970 GTO and 1970 Torino GT, although arguably not sure these are investments either. That said, it is a garage queen. I drive it only in the spring, summer and fall and only on nice, dry days. It looks and rides like brand new.... Other times, it is in the garage on trickle charge and covered. If the battery ever goes down, it is nightmarish to gain access to which is why I replace the battery every two years and it is always on trickle charge. I know that perhaps someday it will need parts that either are just not available or too expensive for me to buy. At that point, we will disappointingly part ways. GM has some late model cars that they have produced in limited numbers....like the XTS and the ATS-V (which I have)....I am sure that parts support for these will eventually rear its ugly head...This is just the price you pay for driving something somewhat unique... But until then, I will enjoy it to the max. And....for what it is worth, it is a real babe magnet! :D
Hope this helps in your decision making process.
 

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2011 CTS Coupe Premium
Orlando - We take orphans
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Just an observation but for modern cars it helps to be a nerd. Personally want an XLR just because I want one. OTOH I have an SLK320 with a similar roof (but can open or close in a low garage), a 1988 Reatta with a touchscreen dash, and a 2011 CTS coupe that is a wannabe track day car. Also have both Tech2Win and an Autel Diaglink plus shop manuals that cover the XLR. Without that kind of background a used XLR can be a money pit.

ps for an interesting car with over 15,000 made, vendors will appear with parts cars.I have no problem getting any part for a 32 year old Reatta and like the Reatta the XLR has a drivetrain shared with other higher volume cars and a chassis shared with Corvettes.
 

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2016 ATS-V, 2007 XLR, 1970 GTO, 1970 Torino GT
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144 Posts
Hey....Just wanted to mention here that I am now looking to sell my pristine 2007 with a scant 18000 miles on it comes the spring. It has been a perfect, zero trouble babe attracting magnet....:D It has cost me nothing beyond normal routine maintenance and I love driving the car...nothing but admiration everywhere I go.... Only reason why I am selling her is to trade to a 1969 Cougar XR-7 convertible...Another babe magnet...Already have 2 other classic cars and I am trying to compete with Jay Leno....LOL....NOT! I guess I am waxing nostalgic and tend to be old school when it comes to cars. Anyway, it is listed in the classified section and if anyone is interested, I would be happy to supply all kinds of pictures and any additional information to a serious buyer. Thanks guys!
 

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2011 CTS Coupe Premium
Orlando - We take orphans
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There is a reason I put my location (Orlando) up front. If it was local I'd look but Central Florida is a target rich environment with 10-20 being advertised on any given day. True most have unrealistic hopes but are three at the moment that meet my criteria.

Never had a Northstar but friend has several shortstars and have built Quad-4s before. Have proper (not cheap) scan tools and instrumentation. Been reprogramming computer cars since the eighties so no big.

I am looking for a nice, well used (around 100k) well maintained XLR for $10-$15k. Condition is everything so expect a good powertrain and rust free but can need some help, particularly electronic in nature of things like headlights needing help is ok.

Prefer local person (clean Florida title is important since state taxes imports heavily). Prefer to drive but can trailer. Know the community appears to be dwindling but mentioning can't hurt. Include VIN in any communication.
 

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2016 ATS-V, 2007 XLR, 1970 GTO, 1970 Torino GT
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Hi Padgett....your points are well taken. I am going to modify my classified to include the state and the VIN #. I got my XLR from Texas and it was such a beautifully maintained car that I did not blink at the cost of $1600 for enclosed trucking back to NJ. KBB puts that value of a excellent XLR (which this one is) at $21K...Other sites set the valuation at $25K-$28K. If I were to do it all over again, I would not want to purchase a high mileage XLR for $10K less knowing the unknowns that I could encounter even if I had the wherewithal to do the repairs myself. So here is an XLR that is pristine with 18K miles on it that looks and rides as new.. Just saying.....my opinion, not because I am trying to sell it. My father taught me long ago that "cheap is expensive and it never pays to be penny wise and dollar foolish". Whenever I do anything, I go all in or not at all. Nothing could be further from the truth in this situation.
 

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2011 CTS Coupe Premium
Orlando - We take orphans
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Agree. I tell people that most cars are the same price if a project or nice: you wind up spending the same as for a nice one in the end, and can drive the nice one in the middle.

With my experience with both retractables (SLKs) and computer cars (latest is a CTS coupe) and havng (friend says enough for a 3 bay shop) both tools (hand, power, and electronic) and a lift. 100k miles just means used properly and of no interest to a collector. I drive my cars.

So for a first XLR (want to replace the SLKs - have done enough playing with them (including refinishing headlighs both inside and out) and reuturn to American) am looking for a cosmetically attractive and good running example with around 100k miles in the $10k to $15k range. What to me is little stuff does not matter. Just want one. No dealers please.
 
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